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Brown-Headed Cowbird Egg In Dickcissel Nest

Photo of three dickcissel eggs in a nest plus one cowbird egg

Cowbirds lay eggs, singly, in the nests of other birds to be raised by unwitting host parents. The baby cowbird hatches before the other eggs and grows fast, getting more food and often leading to the death of its hosts’ own young. This non-nesting lifestyle apparently is an adaptation to the cowbirds’ nomadic life following bison herds.

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http://mdc.mo.gov/node/24649